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story.lead_photo.caption Maxwell Hamilton works with a young customer at The Fade Room on New Boston Road in Texarkana. He says his business is for everyone who wants barber and beauty services in a comfortable environment. Photo by Junius Stone / Texarkana Gazette.

TEXARKANA, Texas — When Maxwell Hamilton started The Fade Room in late 2019 he put particular emphasis on maximizing the space to create a comfortable setting.

"I just took a look at all the space I have here and realized that all this can be used to put to work in the business," he said.

So he set about doing that. Even the COVID shutdown did not slow him down, as the time his business was shut down was relatively brief. He used the time to develop his concept and add services. Now, a customer coming to his shop can see what has been put in place, starting with the big, comfy seating arrangements.

"Many barber shops have those hard, plastic chairs," he said. "If you are having to wait sitting in those, that's just not comfortable. Ours, you can kick back, relax and await your turn in the barber's chair."

Also, there is a pool table, cold drinks, popcorn, with the desired effect to relax the customer.

"The Fade Room is about community, coming in, feeling welcome," Hamilton said. "All kinds of people come here, races, economic standing, and so forth. Everyone is welcome."

He has even taken part of the space and established a salon, where women can come and get their style and braiding needs taken care of.

"I started braiding at age 8," said Jaundra Green, 28. "I was taught by my big sister, Mary, as well as my granny, who was my inspiration. I learned from here these skills as well as a strong work ethic. You have to earn your way in the world."

Green says the barber and beauty business is a great one to be in, as there will always be need of those services.

"This work will not run out," she said. "Not only will folks need their hair to be done, but it makes me feel good to help people be even more beautiful than before. They bring the beauty, as it starts within. I help bring it out."

The Fade Room is Hamilton's first shop and he is still expanding. His next step is to establish a mobile service, which he hopes to have ready in about two months.

(The Fade Room is located at 1702 New Boston Road.)

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